Erin Leedham honored with Kitsap Economic Champion award at KEDA 2024 Annual Meeting & Economic Forecast Event

Erin Leedham honored with Kitsap Economic Champion award at KEDA 2024 Annual Meeting & Economic Forecast Event Main Photo

3 Apr 2024

Economy, Events, Annual Meeting, KEDA Board of Directors

The Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) recently convened its highly anticipated 2024 Annual Meeting & Economic Forecast at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. Attended by over 250 stakeholders, the event served as a platform for unveiling KEDA's ambitious 5-year strategic plan, electing new board officers, and recognizing outstanding contributions to the region's economic landscape.

Highlights included an economic forecast by Western Washington University economists, Hart Hodges and James McCafferty, who codirector the Center for Economic and Business Research. Captain John Hale's, Commanding Officer of Naval Base Kitsap presented on The State of the Base, and KEDA Executive Director, Joe Morrison led a Fireside Chat with Rep. Derek Kilmer, on his congressional service and economic development work.

View event slides and photos. Video coming soon! 

Erin Leedham presented with Economic Champion award

Awarding Economic Champion honors is a highlight of KEDA’s Annual Meetings and this year KEDA recognized the contributions and leadership of outgoing board chair, Erin Leedham. Rep. Derek Kilmer lauded Leedham's decade-long service with KEDA to advancing economic growth amidst challenges such as the Covid Pandemic. Leedham's leadership was instrumental in launching innovative programs like WAV-C, a national initiative focusing on maritime autonomous vehicles, and One Kitsap, a KEDA’s bold regional economic strategy. She exemplifies a commitment to both business and community, serving on the Kitsap Public Facilities District and engaging in numerous volunteer efforts. She is the Senior Vice President, General Manager of the Kitsap Mall.

KEDA Board Business:

KEDA Executive Director, Joe Morrison, presented the organization's robust 2023 Annual Report, outlining key accomplishments and near-term initiatives aligned with the comprehensive One Kitsap strategy.

New Directors:

In addition to welcoming seven new directors to the board, KEDA expressed gratitude to former Board Chairs Monica Blackwood and Nathan Evans for their transformative leadership during a period of organizational evolution.

New directors representing the private sector are Monica Bernhard, CEO, Kitsap Mental Health Services; Kellen Bond, President, Clark Construction; Rick Darrow, CEO, Liberty Bank; Daniel Morse, Co-Chair Kitsap Commercial Investment Brokers / CEO Morse &  Brown Commercial Properties; Christine Nhan, Local Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, Puget Sound Energy.  Jon Rose, VP, Real Estate Investments, Raydient Places + Properties renewed his position.

New KEDA Board Officers were elected as Chair Erin Leedham  passed the gavel to Roger Newton, Owner of New Building & Development, Chad Melton, President of St. Michael Medical Center was elected to Vice Chair, and Jay Mills, Ambassador for Port Madison Enterprises was elected to Treasurer. Eric Croft, Interim CEO of Noo-Kayet Investments and Richard Schwarz, CEO of SAFE Boats International were elected to serve on KEDA’s Executive Committee in an At-Large capacity. 

Joe Morrison expressed his gratitude to all KEDA Board members or their leadership,  expertise and dedication to their roles. 

Event sponsors Port Madison Enterprises and Puget Sound Energy.

About Kitsap Economic Development Alliance:  Founded in 1983, the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance mission is to facilitate healthy economic growth and investments that support livable, resilient communities, fueled by innovation and the diverse people and businesses of Kitsap. For more information, visit